Kochi: Hundreds of residents in rural areas of the district, especially Chendamang- alam and Puthanvelikara panchayats, are facing acute commuting woes as the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has cut short services through the new VP Thuruth bridge in the rural village of Puthenvelikkara.
“Currently only a single bus is conducting service which is grossly inadequate. A major section of people, especially women, are handloom weaving workers and are being forced to hire auto or taxi to go to their workplace. The daily travelling expense consumes a major part of their wages,” said Anoop T. N., Chengamangalam panchayat president.
The KSRTC introduced three services through the route in June last with commissioning of the Puthanvelikara–VP Thuruth bridge, connecting Chendamangalam and Puthanvelikara panchayats in the district. It is faster and easier route from North Paravur to Mala, Chalakudy and southern areas of Thrissur.
“There is no private bus plying in the route and the people are dependent on the KSRTC buses for their commuting needs. Besides being the hub of handloom industries, the region houses offices of many government institutions. A major share of commuters during peak hours is school and college students travelling to and fro from at least five educational institutions,” said M. P. Shajan, former Puthenvelikkara panchayat member.
The corporation was operating service connecting Ernakulam jetty to Kodakara in Thrissur, through the bridge. The other services linked North Paravur with Kodakara touching Puthanvelikara, Mala, Annamanada, Chalakudy and Potta.
Commuters from North Paravur to Kottappauram along the NH 66 can easily reach Mala and Thrissur. The distance will be reduced by more than 10 kilometres and the time by one hour.
When contacted, a senior RTC official said the same was a temporary measure. “The buses were diverted for operating Pamba specials and will be restored soon,” he said.